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Participate in Operation Christmas Child at your Y

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Join the Y in sharing joy and hope with underprivileged children all over the world by sending a shoebox full of gifts through Operation Christmas Child. The mission of Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse initiative, is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“With YMCAs in more than 120 countries, our organization’s mission and impact are felt across the globe, and our support of Operation Christmas Child is a great way to partner with another nonprofit to connect our members and community with ‘neighbors’ we may never meet, but for whom the contents of a small shoebox can mean so much,” says YMCA Chaplain Vona Wilson.

Pick up an Operation Christmas Child shoebox at any of our 15 centers today, and bring it back filled with gifts by November 17. Your shoebox could go as far as Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Central America or South America. Since this ministry began in 1993, more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes have been delivered to children in more than 150 countries and territories around the world. This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to bless another 12 million children.

How do I start? 

Pick up an Operation Christmas Child box at your local Y or build a shoebox online through the Samaritan's Purse website.

How do I pack a shoe box? 

  1. Indicate if your gift is for a girl or boy and select an age range on the label.
  2. Pack your shoebox full of toys, school supplies and hygiene items. View a list of gift ideas and what not to pack here.
  3. Donate $7 to cover international shipping costs online to get a customized label that will allow you to track your shoebox across the world. (You may also include cash in an envelope in the box.)
  4. Secure your box with a rubber band. Do not tape it shut, so that the Operation Christmas Child volunteers can review your box’s contents and add the word of God to your box.

Where can I drop off my box?

At any YMCA of Middle Tennessee location or other designated drop-off locations. If you have any questions, please contact Chaplain Vona Wilson at

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Association Office
1000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37203
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